The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Comcast in a high-stakes civil rights case Monday, ruling that media mogul Byron Allen must show race was the determining reason that the cable company refused to carry his channels in order for his discrimination case to survive.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a lower court used the wrong legal standard in allowing Allen’s $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit to proceed. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California for reconsideration.
Allen, an African American entertainment executive, says the Philadelphia cable giant racially discriminated against him when it refused to carry his cable-TV channels on its systems. Comcast says race had nothing to do with rejecting Allen’s channels, noting that they had low ratings.
The high court did not weigh the merits of Allen’s allegations. At issue was whether a person filing a racial-discrimination lawsuit must allege that race was the determining reason that a contract decision was made, or if a person can merely allege that race was one “motivating factor” for a case to proceed.
“To prevail, a plaintiff must initially plead and ultimately prove that, but for race, it would not have suffered the loss of a legally protected right,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote on behalf of the court, in an opinion released Monday morning.
Allen said he would continue his fight by asking Congress and presidential candidates to revise the statute in question to overcome the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has rendered a ruling that is harmful to the civil rights of millions of Americans,” Allen said in a statement. “This is a very bad day for our country.”
Read the full article here: The Philadelphia Inqurier